Managing your online business reputation can be a confusing and time-consuming process, especially if you’re just getting started.
There are dozens of online review sites out there like Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business, and TripAdvisor. Keeping tabs on each one can tap into your already precious time. Being active on these sites sites can be an all-out chore. But it doesn’t have to be.
For years, new and powerful tools have made many of the most tedious tasks we face a breeze through software automation. It wasn’t too long ago that filing your own taxes was a week-long process. Automated tax preparation software has that process streamlined and now it only takes a few of hours to file.
Finally, we’re seeing more powerful automation tools come within reach of small businesses. These tools empower store owners to work smarter, not just harder, and work faster and with precision.
The question is: is it time to automate management of your online business reputation?
What is online business reputation management?
In the past, your business reputation was what the community had to say about you through word of mouth. It was friends making suggestions and recommendations to one another.
In the past few years, word of mouth has moved online. Shoppers now turn to online business review sites like Yelp and Google My Business, rather than turning to their neighbors or friends for store, service, and restaurant recommendations. Before they visit a store, shoppers want to read what previous customers have said about it, whether those customers would recommend a particular location, until, ultimately, they find the right store to visit, place to dine, or service to hire.
Reputation management is all about owning that online conversation and making sure those sites correctly reflect your the customer experience your business provides. Owning that conversation requires some work to respond to comments and engage with the customers who leave feedback. The good news is doing so makes your business easier to find in local Internet searches.
Make yourself a contender
Online review sites are the best way to attract new customers. They’re also one of the most influential factors in the customer’s decision-making process, with 90% of people saying the reviews and recommendations they read shaped their final choice. Having an up-to-date, robust online reputation makes you a contender for some of the highest quality, ready-to-buy shoppers you’ll find. It’s a huge opportunity to attract new customers, but it shouldn’t be a chore.
Automate the everyday tasks
Having a system in place to automate the daily monitoring of your online reputation ensures you’re never caught off-guard. What if you could receive alerts anytime you get new reviews and feedback? With the right solution, you won’t have to log in to a bunch of different websites to check for and reply to new comments. You can effectively put many aspects of your business reputation management on autopilot.
- If you’re spending more than a few minutes every day checking and monitoring your Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business, Tripadvisor, or any other review site, you could reclaim a few hours every week by automating the monitoring process.
- If you’re currently unsure what your online review listings look like, you can quickly get up to speed. Most business owners who haven’t claimed or who haven’t used their online review sites make prime candidates for automated business reputation management.
- If you’ve missed a review by more than a few days, it’s worth considering a monitoring service. You don’t need to log into Facebook to see when your friend tags you in an awesome cat video; you shouldn’t have to log into multiple platforms to see if you have new reviews, comments, recommendations, or mentions, especially if it’s an erroneous or negative review.
- If you’re not sure how to manage negative reviews or reply to comments, a do-it-yourself marketing tool may be perfect for you. The right tools will guide you through the process of replying, so you’re always responding and keep the conversation going. With pre-scripted general notes, you can quickly personalize and respond in seconds.
- If you simply don’t want to think about it, automation is the way to go. Set it and forget it until it requires your attention. You can reap the benefits that come with a strong online business reputation without giving yourself another chore to do.
- If you’re new to online reviews and want to hit the ground running, software can remove the intimidation factor and shorten the learning curve. Learning the ins and outs of online review sites can take time. Each review site is unique, so it can take time to navigate. Having one centralized location from which you respond to all reviews will save you time and give you control immediately.
- If you’re just winging it, you should check out a way to automate your business reputation management process. Winging it isn’t sustainable over time. Inevitably, something will fall through the cracks. You don’t have to be a tax expert to file your own taxes; you don’t need to be a review or online business rating specialist to take control of your reviews.
You’re the best judge of whether or not using technology to improve your online business reputation should be a priority for your shop. But if any of the scenarios above sound like you, it’s a good indication that it’s time to consider automating some of the work with software.
With Womply’s reputation management solutions, you can read and respond to all your reviews for dozens of popular sites in one place. You’ll also be able to get more reviews from your happiest customers, and receive alerts when someone posts something about your business, so you’re never caught off guard. Request your free overview of Womply’s reputation management solutions today.